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ESHS teachers stage ‘sit-in’ protest over working conditions

September 15th, 2023 | Tags: protest ESHS Teachers working conditions sit-in protest
On the fifth day of the new school year, teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) are protesting working conditions at the school. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- On the fifth day of the new school year, teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) are protesting working conditions at the school.

The teachers today, September 15, 2023, walked out of the classrooms to stage a sit-in protest under the ‘big tent’ at the campus in Road Town.

The protest started around 1:00 PM and was supported by more than 20 teachers.

Reports reaching our news center are that the teachers are dissatisfied with the conditions of the classrooms and surrounding environment.

Additionally, there are also reports of air-conditioning issues in some classrooms.

The Education Minister Hon Sharie B. de Castro (AL) is currently out of the territory attending the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (10CYMM) in London.

More details to come.

40 Responses to “ESHS teachers stage ‘sit-in’ protest over working conditions”

  • Hotmess (15/09/2023, 14:50) Like (38) Dislike (12) Reply
    Wellsah. After 2months break
  • update (15/09/2023, 14:52) Like (60) Dislike (2) Reply
    This government is a waist of time what about the 250.000 have been spend on free concert ,and the 1mil spend on festival, when it is this government going to get there act together???? This is a shame to the children of this country
    • Watchin on... (15/09/2023, 15:56) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      Total "waist"...i agree. "Waist" of time.
    • To update (15/09/2023, 21:41) Like (8) Dislike (14) Reply
      I am now realizing this 250000 is politically driven. The same government spent far more than that as they recently and currently built, repaired, and constructing many new school facilities like JVD School, Bregado Flax Secondary, Eslyn Henley School for special needs, New Elmore Stoutt facilities, L-Shaped building at Elmore Stoutt, just to name a few. While I stand with the teachers I must ask why the same teachers did not rebel like this when they were placed in the moldy building and tents at Pasea for years by Myron? This is why I hope this is being done for the correct reasons and not ungratefulness and political motives because this is where I will get off.
  • dah mek sense? (15/09/2023, 15:02) Like (21) Dislike (48) Reply
  • Speeding (15/09/2023, 15:03) Like (39) Dislike (4) Reply
    The BVI is going backwards rather fast
  • lol (15/09/2023, 15:06) Like (36) Dislike (5) Reply
    Deal with them like how yo deal with your man credit card and phone bills
    • @LOL (16/09/2023, 09:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      That's rough..... her boy friend ain easy. The jam down from data pro take she spot and all.
  • resident (15/09/2023, 15:15) Like (69) Dislike (3) Reply
    I applaud the courage of the teachers, all other government workers need to join them
  • Problem after Problem! (15/09/2023, 15:29) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Problem after problem. Who is working to stimulate this economy? Who even cares? I'm throwing my hands up in the air right now, this is unbearable.
  • Our Education System!! (15/09/2023, 15:44) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Forward NEVER, Backwards EVER!! Our education system is in deep mess. I hope the powers that be will stop playing politics and prioritize the education system on a whole. Look how Joyce Samuel School could not open on time and had to push back to a new opening day.

    Where is the vision and foresight of those in charge? Please our children expect better from you/us. Let’s get our Schools in order and properly maintained!
    • @Our Education System!! (15/09/2023, 21:35) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
      I am not pleased with everything in the BVI but I still love the BVI as it is no worse than any other place in the world. What is killing the BVI is the many agendas everyone has and make it seem as if they love the BVI. I know for sure some members of the Opposition are behind the scenes spurring many confusion on just for power. This is where we are going wrong because we continue to fight each other and it is the wrong fight. Yes stand up for our rights but know that there is not a perfect place in the world.
  • smh (15/09/2023, 15:46) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
    It's about time! Too much BS going on with the Education System. Attention to non irrelevant subjects are garnishing more attention like these excessive travelling for which the territory not seeing any benefit. Education Department holds an extensive staff that needs to stop shuffling papers and sitting at their desks and go out and adequately inspect the schools. A whole 3mths salary for what? Enough is enough! This is so d**m demeaning and a big deterrent to the students.
  • Well Sah (15/09/2023, 15:46) Like (28) Dislike (3) Reply
    Pay the teachers and improve the working environment for them and the students. Th suns hot bad. They cannot survive in a classroom with out ac!
  • School chiren (15/09/2023, 15:49) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    School chiren say the minister say she was going to fix all the schools in the a walk through many are fixed ..EAPS full of mold, WWPS look dilapidated ESHS is another case what was fixed???
  • We need much better (15/09/2023, 15:58) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is such a shame! brand new school just built, I sympathize with these teachers as well. I know it's sad to see our student education being interrupted but we have and must do better for our country. Just looking at the outside of the school it looks like a prison, even down to the guard rails are designed used for prisons. That what happens when these Ministers choose their friend and cronies for every Government projects. So many corners were cut with that design of the school, am surprised that the students are not striking also. When will they build real school here in the BVI??? those who could afford it will not send their kids at that school. Every day during lunch time students all about eating lunch, on stairways, under a hot tent. PLEAE BUILD A CAFETERIA FOR OUR STUDENTS ...I know these Ministers know this is common sense to provide a healthy and safe environment for our children. That Principal need to go home, she serves absolutely no purpose. COME ON DO BETTER!
    • Inhumane (15/09/2023, 21:11) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      They treat the children as though they are an after thought. How could they tell the students that they are not permitted to eat in the classrooms without providing a suitable alternative? School management and education officials should all be ashamed of themselves.

      The premier should also be ashamed of himself because he was the minister of education when they decided to air condition the buildings. Landscaping was included in the plans as a means of helping to cool the environment but I guess they decided to cut corners on that too.

      I agree with suggestions to have the big bosses at the Ministry of Education and the political powers spend a few days at ESHS to experience the life of students. Let’s see if they can survive the furnace that they have condemned our children to. On top of that, Myron’s 12th Grade remains in place as an extra year of torment. SMH
  • RealPol (15/09/2023, 16:07) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is this an unforced error. School was out for approximately 3 months, so there is no excuse for basic maintenance and repair items not getting. Is this poor planning or sheer incompetence. This is a national embarrassment an embarrassment to the Premier and MEC. Neither the Premier nor MEC needs to be on site to ensure basic maintenance and repair work gets done. If they do ,, why have staff. Staff should be able to take care of basic items. Hon de Castro may need to trust but verify staff work until proven otherwise. What actions, if any, is going to be taken? Earlier schools were open on time due work projects not getting done. Now a sit-in at the major high school for non-performance of required maintenance work..
    • Manjack (15/09/2023, 20:13) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      @RealPol, real talk. This is poor planning, incompetent and poor and incomplete staff work.The staff needs some serious coaching, and counseling and let go if no improvement is noted in their performance at the end of performance improvement plan if no good faith effort was being put forth. There must be responsibility and accountability for poor performance. The ultimate responsibility rest with MEC/Premier. A leader cannot just take and embrace good; he/she must also take responsibility for the bad and ugly. Of course those with delegated responsibility must also be held accountable. However, responsibility cannot be delegated away.
    • Mustang (16/09/2023, 04:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is poor staff work. Does the MEC have its own facility maintenance unit? If so it is asleep at the wheel. Does it have a facilities work plan? School was out for two months so why was the backlogged maintenance work was not done? Does it have preventative maintenance plan? As Manjack noted, this is poor staff work, a national embarrassment and a shame, a black eye for the Premier and MEC. Poor planning is a problem at the ministry of education. If memory serves us right, was not Joyce Samuel Primary school not delayed in opening, for needed repair work was not completed on time? Is something rotten in the state of Denmark? The MEC must arrest and eradicate the rot? Prior planning prevent piss poor performance!!! The MEC must embrace this alliteration.

      Are teachers on a 9- month ( done in other locales)or 12-month contract? If a 12- month contract, what the teachers do for the three months in the summer while still on the payroll? Should they not be using this time to prepare school reopening in the fall? The system is putting out a bunch of duncy heads, functional illiterates, etc, so perhaps school needs to be opened year round, giving students more time in the classroom to catch up and improve their learning. The reason for the long summer vacations are long gone, for students don’t have to hrlp parents work, proge, harvest ground. The BVI needs an education master plan to operate from regardless of who is the Minister of Education. It seems as if every minister of education come to the table with his/her own ideas, canning predecessor’s policies. The students pay the costly and ultimate price for stop and start every four years. The BVI cannot move full STEAM(Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics)ahead without a codified master plan. The BVI also needs health, roads, water, wastewater, electricity/energy, etc, master plans. Again Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor performance.
      • @Mustang (16/09/2023, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Mustang, you starting ting asking if teachers on a 9-month or 12-month contract. It is an interesting question though. Would this mean that they are not paid for the 2-3 months they are out for the summer unless they are working. Ah yu lawd, look melee.
  • Put HOA at ESHS (15/09/2023, 16:14) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need to put our 'honourable' elected officials in one of these classrooms for the day. Unbelievable that they could think this is anywhere near acceptable. Children can't learn nothing in that heat!! Temperature is 5 to 10 degrees higher in the class than outside. Something is very wrong with the thinking here.
  • resident (15/09/2023, 16:28) Like (13) Dislike (32) Reply
    Teachers had a whole week to prepare for last Monday. Weren't they aware of these issues? What steps did the principals or dept of education take to rectify these issues? I am all in favor of protest actions but only as a last resort. What about the PTA? It seems to me that things went from zero to a hundred too quickly. I see the minister trying her best to get things done in the school. I'm no VIP supporter but I think from all the fb postings by the primary schools that they don't have such issues. I dont know what the laws are concerning protest actions but we need to be careful.
  • WOW (15/09/2023, 19:37) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Calculator (15/09/2023, 19:47) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
    All of dem lazy MS. Most of them acting like dem liss out from a bommacou mehson. They need to stop whine and go teach the children dem, else quit and do something that will pay more.
  • Haha. (15/09/2023, 20:03) Like (6) Dislike (12) Reply
    Tell Zan Lewis get some dam manners and learm to act in a professional question . He too dam Political with his questions and his demeanor.
  • Priority (15/09/2023, 20:35) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    With this type heat all school need be air conditioned, with the $200 000 dollars free concert ,this money could of fill a void even when you home can’t stand this heat imagine been in a class room no air condition can say fan cause that only circulate hot air to early for this nonsense
  • My Take (15/09/2023, 21:42) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    The BVI needs serious Prayers because there is a spirit of constant confusion and hatred looming over the place.
  • —————————- (16/09/2023, 01:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Between 2011 and 2019 there is when the education system when to the dogs and was at its lowest, the vip is left now trying to clean up yall!!!!
  • Brave heroes.. (16/09/2023, 07:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The way people with power behave. Very bias, oppressive, think them is high and might.. No love, no compassion. Look down on the said people that carrying their load, making them look good..
  • My little 2 cents (16/09/2023, 07:24) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    I saw the president of the union mention some issues like grass too high, fans for classrooms, cleaning of a.c etc. Except for the ac these are so trivial. What you need at eshs is a vibrant pta. Parents could have volunteered fans and clean the yardor better still Let the 4th and 5th formers do that as part of their community service. Do some car wash, bake sale etc and raise funds. The leaders of the school need to do a better job at ensuring infrastructural maintenance are carried out systematically. Have a time table for certain things to be done. Somebody is dropping the ball somewhere. Not just govt.
  • BVIslander (16/09/2023, 08:33) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Those teachers need to be sent home. They care nothing about our children. Those who are encouraging them in such should be locked up. Their aim is to destroy. They only want the money.. Hopemoney will be deducted from their salary for time they strike.
  • hi (16/09/2023, 09:36) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am baffled. I spent 5 years at the high school in the mid 70s and there was no damn a/c in the classrooms. I believe the weather was the same, or has it changed.

    Everywhere is mold infested because they are closed up. Fresh air is better for us.
  • ha (16/09/2023, 09:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bvi is a labour import jurisdiction so there is no need to focus on educating its citizens.
  • lmao (16/09/2023, 10:32) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well with the overwhelming amount of idiots that populate this island this is hardly surprising.

    Also, it never ceases to amaze me that persons here expect anything worthwhile from the idiots they place in charge of operating a country. Both the voters and the people they vote in are idiots, do the math and tell me what that equals.

    The ONLY way here will EVER improve and not remain 2-3 decades behind the rest of the world is if LOCAL people are NOT placed in the government. They are too stupid and too inexperienced with LIFE and common sense to operate a country.

  • asking for a friend.. (16/09/2023, 12:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Couldn't the 250K that was spent on a concert fix these problems?
  • Welsah (17/09/2023, 11:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Seems like someone was not doing their job and goverment get the blame as usual. All schools should pass an inspection before reopening. How could this be overlooked before reopening school.
    Seems like there is no maintenance plan. Get it together and start inspecting the schools regularly.
  • faadi (23/09/2023, 01:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    ERP implementation can be complex and time-consuming. It requires careful planning, skilled personnel, and effective change management.

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